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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old February 8th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #16
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Re: The best audio?

The Sony mic actually as a joint where you can bend it almost 80 degree and then it points forward so it does not stick out the full length. Do a google search for it under images and you will see what I am talking about.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #17
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Re: The best audio?

And bent forward, it's not visible at 170 degrees FOV?
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Old February 8th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #18
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Re: The best audio?

I just checked and no the mic is just out of frame bent forward.
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Old February 8th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #19
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Re: The best audio?

Two more questions, if I may.

Given that the mic is projecting out horizontally, and given that it's stereo ports are designed with a vertical mount in mind, how difficult is it to properly line the ports up to truly pick up "left" and "right" (rather than "up...towards the sky" and "down...towards the ground" or even "front...of the camera" and "back...where I'm holding it")?

And finally, how clean is the sound when all is said and done, and when it's boosted in editing? Is there a lot of hiss and static and noise in the background or is it about as clean as one can hope for distant (say, 10-20 feet away) sound sources?
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Old February 9th, 2012, 06:46 AM   #20
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Re: The best audio?

I only got the mic a few days ago and have not had a chance to test the audio from it. If the ports become an issue I was plan on using an 1/8" stereo right angle adapter to get the ports facing correctly by pointing the adapter upward and then attach the mic to it forcing the ports right and left but left would be right and right would be left due to the mic design but that should not be a problem as i can always swap them in post editing. Another solution would be a short 1/8" stereo extension and velcro it to the case. I hope to have time this weekend to do some testing.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 07:23 AM   #21
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Re: The best audio?

I'll be interested to hear your results. You're a few days ahead of me there, as I still don't have the mic. Nor do I have any way to test the audio other than the tiny on-camera speaker. (I have an HDMI cable on order but that hasn't arrived either.)

Be sure to listen for "cricket" sounds in the audio. I'm not quite sure what people are referring to there but evidently it's an issue.

If we can nail down that this Sony mic works well and that the audio is actually clean, this will be a big revelation!

But you know, I really need someone to pop my balloon right now before I get my hopes up too high. I'm planning to put the Hero 2's images up on my 50" plasma once the HDMI cables arrive. But I need someone to bring me back to earth and say "Lynne, this is not a $1000 camcorder. It's not even a $500 one. For $300 you're going to get a grainy, fuzzy picture whose colors don't look quite right. This ain't Hollywood, this is junkyard video." Please, someone shoot me before I discover for myself it's not possible to have a quality HD camera (good audio, good video) attached to my wrist.

Last edited by Lynne Whelden; February 9th, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #22
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Re: The best audio?

I finally got a reply to my question from GoPro's customer service:

The HERO2 does have 3.5mm Stereo External Mic Input. Unfortunately, we do not produce a mic for the camera. You would need to find a compatible third party microphone.

We don't have any official recommendations, and none that are wireless, but we did ask the Media Team what they use, and while they haven't chosen any favorites yet they have been using the following two regular wired mic's with decent results:-

Sennheiser MKE 400 Compact Video Camera Shotgun Microphone

EMW Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone

For even more technical details about the mic input:

The camera provides a 3.1V supply to each microphone connection on the external mic connector. The 3.1V is supplied through an internal 2K resistor, typically making for a 2.5V mic bias.

The supply return is to the connector ground. Users need to be very sure about their adapters. If they are using a mono mic SLR to stereo jack adapter, they may be connecting their mic across the left and right mic inputs instead of connecting from a single mic input to ground.

Also, our mic bias may possibly be low for some mics. Often unpowered mics will require 4V and above for mic bais.
.................................................................................................... ...........................

I guess I should have specified my requirements better, as those 2 mics above are hardly portable. The EMW has an XLR connector, requiring an additional adapter. The Sennheiser has the mini-plug but its length precludes its being attached to the camera anywhere.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:08 AM   #23
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Re: The best audio?

It is interesting to hear that the mic port supplies plug-in power of 3.1v. As this opens up the option of the Boss BA-CS10 Stereo Microphone as it requires power.
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Old February 10th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #24
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Re: The best audio?

Good call! Finally a mini mic that has good specs.
I wonder if that mic bias of 2.5 v becomes an issue, however, as the Boss requires 3 volts. I don't quite understand it. Are you going to try it out?

Oddly, B&H has discontinued that mic...

I had sent GoPro's customer service back a reply saying I wish they'd compile a list of useable mics. It seems odd that we're expected to do the testing here when there's probably not that many good mics to choose from in the first place. What, are we the first ones to want decent sound?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #25
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Re: The best audio?

Now that my HDMI cable has arrived, I'm testing the Olympus mic along with two Sony mics, one being their bluetooth wireless.

But some questions...what is the "chirping" people complain about? I've heard two different weird sounds, both could be chirping I suppose.
One is a constant high pitched ring that accompanies the built-in mic. Any dialogue recorded close-up (within a few feet) has this associated with it.

The other was more of a breathing sound, about once a second, I noticed especially when using the wireless mic.

Either of these pass for "chirping"?
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #26
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Re: The best audio?

http://goprouser.freeforums.org/wind...ro2-t4456.html

>http://goprouser.freeforums.org/wind-resistant-stereo-mic-for-hd-hero2-t4456.html<

Results of many different mics tested including samples
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Old February 11th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #27
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Re: The best audio?

My preliminary mic tests are pretty disappointing.
I'm hooking up the Olympus ME-51S, Sony ECM-DS30P and the Sony ECM-AW3 bluetooth one after the other into the external mic jack. I'm using the built-in camera mic as the reference. I play it back through my HDMI cable into my 50" Samsung plasma tv with its built-in stereo speakers.

As soon as I plug any mic in, there's this baseline low level but ever-present mid-frequency buzz that takes over. Mixed into that buzz (or churn or idling sound) is a ticking sound (almost like a grandfather clock) at about 1 cycle per second. I thought it might be electrical interference of the cable but it wasn't noticeable when playing back the on-camera mic recording so my HDMI cable couldn't be the problem.

Only the bluetooth didn't manifest the ticking sound but it still had a fair amount of hiss and of the three mics, lacked the most "presence."

At first I wondered if the right angle jack I was using was introducing the baseline buzz so I did a test with it plugged in plus tests where I bypassed the jack altogether and plugged the mics directly into the camera. It made no difference.

All I can say is that if one is recording loud, continuous sounds you probably won't notice what I'm describing. But for natural sounds, sounds in nature, quiet rooms...that's where this rumble/buzz/churning sound manifests.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #28
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Re: The best audio?

I am wondering if the buzz or clicking you are hearing is caused by the mic port having 3.1v power applied to it and using mic's not designed for it. I am not in front of my GoPro camera but wondering if you can disable the power to the mic port via a menu option.

Just read the over the link provided above and it is interesting as it states the mic port is not powered. So what is true, powered or not powered?

Last edited by Hart Boyd; February 11th, 2012 at 06:20 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #29
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Re: The best audio?

I've never seen that on the menu choices.
Also, the Olympus mic says it's a plug-in powered mic requiring between 1.5 to 10 volts of power.
The Sony 30 also is a plug-in powered mic.
They both sounded equally bad in a quiet environment.
For what it's worth, I also ordered the Boss CS10 to try. It won't be here until mid-week.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 06:40 PM   #30
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Re: The best audio?

If they sounded bad in a quite environment then it must be a AGC issues with using external mics as I have not had that issue using the built in mic. I have no proof but my best guess.
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